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- November 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm #344787
Inspired by Siristru's thread (and using his lesson scheme), I decided to write my own about Silesian.
Alphabet and spelling
The Silesian alphabet is not standarised yet, so I will introduce an alphabet consisting of 34 letters: a, á, ą, b, c, ć, d, e, é, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, ł, m, n, ń, o, ó, ô, p, r, s, ś, t, u, w, y, z, ź, ż.
Most of the letters are pronounced similar to Polish. What's different:
– á is pronounced as o.
– ą is pronounced as nasal a (not like Polish nasal o)
– é is pronounced similar to y
– ó is pronounced as ó was in Old Polish (sound between o and u), at word/root beginning pronounced with prelabialisation
– ô is pronounced as o with preceding ł-like sound (prelabialisation)
There are also digraphs: sz, cz, rz, dz, dż, dź, ch. What one need to know is that where in Polish rz is followed by y, in Silesian it's always i (thus pronounciation of rzi is intermediate between Polish and Czech).
Conjugation of verb być (to be)
The conjugation is quite complex, because there are many forms of it (and some dialectal only), I will show only the most widespread ones.
já żech jest / jestech
ty żeś jest
my żeśmy sóm / myśmy sóm
wy żeście sóm / wyście sóm
já żech bół
ty żeś bół
my żeśmy boli / myśmy boli
wy żeście boli / wyście boli
Já żech jest Ślónzákiém. (I am Silesian)
Ôn bół we Angliji. (He was in England)
Já béndą miészkáć we górach bez tydziéń. (I will live in the mountains for one week)
Wyście sóm mi radzi. (I like you (pl) )November 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm #405471
As far as I understood, Silesians is verry close to Polish. Like you said ethnolect. I dont know if this appropriate, but I wanted to ask, what is level of intelligibility with Czech.
Thanks, this is good idea.November 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm #405472
AnonymousQuote:As far as I understood, Silesians is verry close to Polish. Like you said ethnolect.
Yes, it's closer to Polish than to, say, Czech. May be because of Polish prevalence in the area. Here I also used spelling made to show the relation to Polish (as I advocate the concept of multi-centered Polish language, as opposed to current uni-centered view, which I think is harmful both for local speech and for local customs and culture).
I dont know if this appropriate, but I wanted to ask, what is level of intelligibility with Czech.
Level of intelligibility is bigger than for standard Polish, but only a bit. Silesian stands out of Polish dialects not because it was influenced by Czech (although such influence existed, and there're many Czech borrowings in Silesian, both lexical and structural), but because it was heavily influenced by German (studies show that German borrowings constitute about 10-20% of whole lexicon). There's also a Silesian dialect of Czech, and (as far as I know) it is mutually intelligible with south Silesian Polish dialects.
And Silesian preserved many archaic features long dead in standard Polish.December 5, 2012 at 10:55 pm #405473
Well, Silesian (at least in written form as most of the Czech speakers haven't even heard of this language/dialect) isn't very mutually intelligible with Czech (but I guess it's better than Polish). It's got a lot of words of German origin which is a BIG problem for standard Czech speaker because Czech is a puristical language and nowadays it lacks most words of German origin.
But here's an interesting question for you guys:What do you think? Is Silesian Czech/Polish dialect or an independent language?
For me, this is a very thing to answer. There are many criteria to consider. Level of mutual intelligibleness, number of speakers, shared grammar/vocabulary and so on. Whenever I'm confronted with this question, I'm thinking of two examples – Czech/Slovak and German dialects. Czech and Slovak are mutally intelligible, speakers of both languages can understand themselves without any major (and minor too) problems. But, they're still considered separate languages. But on the other hand, German dialects aren't mutually intelligible at all, speakers of nothing but Standard High German got troubles with understanding dialects. I'd say that even various (standard) Slavic language are more mutually intelligible than German dialects. But even German speakers themselves still consider Swiss German (Plattdütsch) a dialect of German.
So…Is Silesian a dialect or a language? That depends on person's taste I guees. I, personally, incline more to the dialect option, dialect of Polish to be exact. I haven't heard spoken Silesian yet but from what I've read over the net, it lacks nasal vowels (which is typically a Czech feature) but the most important part – rz/ř is pronounced the Polish way as ż (borders of Czech dialects are closely bound with the pronounciation of ř/rz), pronounciation of g as in English word gate not h as in head. Also speakers pronounce letters ć, ś, ź, dź the Polish way (but this is a feature typical for some of Czech dialects too). And finally, the emphasis is on penultimate which is, again, a typical Polish thing (but at the same time typical for some Czech dialects). Its grammar seems to be more related to Polish than to Czech. All of these things make it a Polish dialect for me.December 6, 2012 at 10:01 am #405474
AnonymousQuote:(…) Well, Silesian (at least in written form as most of the Czech speakers haven't even heard of this language/dialect) (…)
I'm thinking about recording the next lesson, so maybe you will hear eventually
(…) But even German speakers themselves still consider Swiss German (Plattdütsch) a dialect of German.
Plattdüütsch (Low German) is not Swiss German, in fact it's not even a dialect of German. It's closer related to Frisian and English than to German. But that's true, that Swiss German is considered by the speakers as German dialect, although it's quite different. On the other hand, in Austria many Austrians say that they speak Austrian, not German, even if it's (AFAIK) the same dialect of High German as the one spoken in Bavaria.
So…Is Silesian a dialect or a language? That depends on person's taste I guees. I, personally, incline more to the dialect option, dialect of Polish to be exact. (…)
Yes, I also think that the speech is a Polish dialect. That's why I use the Polish-based spelling.
(…) I haven't heard spoken Silesian yet but from what I've read over the net, it lacks nasal vowels (which is typically a Czech feature) (…)
Not exactly, most Silesian dialects retained ą (nasal a, as in Old Polish, and AFAIK in all Lechitic group) at the end of a word. In other places the nasal had either differentiated into clear vowel and a nasal consonant, or into a clear vowel only. That's a feature present in many Polish dialects.
but the most important part – rz/ř is pronounced the Polish way as ż (borders of Czech dialects are closely bound with the pronounciation of ř/rz) (…)
Again, not exactly. Silesian has retained group rzi, where Polish has rzy, eg. in prefix przi- (by, near, Polish przy-). Also, most of Silesian dialects displays "mazurzenie" (Polish term for pronouncing cz as c, sz as s, ż as z), but rz isn't changed into z (even if ż has the same sound, and changes to z). Moreover, AFAIK, closer to the Czech border, once rz was pronounced in the Czech way (at least before the WWII). That suggests, that the Czech pronunciation of rz was more widespread once, and in Silesia it changed into Polish later than in Poland proper (Old Polish also had the Czech sound).
In the early 19th century Silesian kurzóm (they smoke) was transcribed into German as kurschonn, which also suggest Czech-like pronounciation (and a nasal vowel).
Also speakers pronounce letters ć, ś, ź, dź the Polish way (but this is a feature typical for some of Czech dialects too). And finally, the emphasis is on penultimate which is, again, a typical Polish thing (but at the same time typical for some Czech dialects). Its grammar seems to be more related to Polish than to Czech. (…)
Mostly. But for example, Silesians I know use the infinitive form of future more often than the participle form, eg. bédą gádáć vs. bédą gádáł (I will speak). Participle form also often sound alien to me, as the infinitive would be more proper.
Silesian also have some similarities with Czech, eg the ending –ej where Polish has –aj, eg dej (give). The same difference is in other places than the imperative (dzisiej – today, tukej – here), but I don't know if it's present also in Czech. This may be a Czech influence, but it's also possible that the two regions developed this change simultaneously. There are also some other similarities to Czech (grammar, lexical, etc), but of course they are less numerous than similarities to Polish.
Oh, and I made a terrible mistake in the conjugation, bédą not béndą (and all other future forms of to be), that's the majority's pronunciation.December 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm #405475
As I promised, a second lesson about Silesian. I must add that I'm polishing my Silesian by posting these lessons and posts in Silesian, as I usually don't have any opportunity to speak it (I live in a city and all my friends and almost all my family are non-speakers, so I usually use Polish). I should also say that I'm not always sure if I should put the accent over a vowel or not (it's rather correct, but…).
I think that Slavic people would understand a Silesian text when glosses are provided, so I decided to use this method. I also use some borrowings non-existent in colloquial speech (but which I need here).
I will also record my reading of the texts, and post it here. But this would be later.
[size=12pt]Utopce to sóm istoty, kere miészkajóm we rzekach i rybnikach, nebo siedzóm kole wody. Nié sóm ône cáłkiém jednakie ze utopcámi ze inakszych słowiańskiéch berów, na Ślónsku polazły ône inakszóm drógóm ewolucyji.
Ôd utopców chroni świénty Ján Nepomucen, kerego na Ślónsku wołajóm Nepomucek. Nepomucki stawiali kole mostów, Ślónzoki wierzyli iże Świénty chroni ich ôde utopców, i rzékali wielce do niégo.
Mója starka gádáła mi, iże jej ôciec gádáł ze utopcámi i ô jich spráwach, ale to bóło kedy já żech bół małém karlusém, to nié wiém, iże ôsprawiáła ôna ô práwdziwéch rzeczach, czy ino mówiéła bery.
Jako żech juże gádáł, utopce miészkajóm we wodzie. Sóm te ône utopce na trocha wiéńcéj jak meter wielgie, majóm huty i lubióm tabak. Najczénściéj sóm ône rozumne a godne. Czowieki kere je ôbrażajóm topióm sie we wodzie.
Wyłażóm ône utopce ze wody po ćmáku. Bezto czowieki kere łażóm po ćmie wele stawów sóm wielce ôdważne, abo gupie. Ôciec ôd mojéj starki musiáł łazić kole stawu, kaj siédziáły utopce, we noc. Ôn robiáł na grubie. Trza pedzieć, iże ôn lubiáł kurzyć.
Jednéj nocy, zeźrzáł ôn utopca na swojéj drodze. Zlónk sie, tén ôjciec ôd mojéj starki, ale pedziáł “pieronie!”, i polaz do ônego utopca. Tén sie pytá: “Mász tabak?”. Mój prastarzik nic nié gádáł, mimo iże miáł ino resztka tabaka, ino dáł tén tabak utopcówi. Utopiec wżón tén tabak i poszół ze drógi we las.
Rano prastarzik znod ôn we swéj chałpie nowa, piénkna faja, a pedziół to wszisko swojém bajtlóm.[/size]
[size=16pt]OK, so now the glosses, sentence after sentence:[/size]
ô utopcach – about utopce
Utopce to sóm istoty, kere miészkajóm we rzekach i rybnikach, nebo siedzóm kole wody.
utopce to sóm istoty – utopce are beings
kere miészkajóm we rzekach i rybnikach – who dwell in rivers and fishponds
nebo siedzóm kole wody – or sit/dwell near water
Nié sóm ône cáłkiém jednakie ze utopcámi ze inakszych słowiańskiéch berów, na Ślónsku polázły ône inakszóm drógóm ewolucyji.
nié sóm ône cáłkiém jednakie – they aren't completely identical
ze utopcámi ze inakszych słowiańskiéch berów – with utopce from other Slavic stories
na Ślónsku polázły ône inakszóm drógóm ewolucyji – In Silesia they went different way of evolution
Ôd utopców chroni świénty Ján Nepomucen, kerego na Ślónsku wołajóm Nepomucek.
ôd utopców – from utopce
chroni – he saves
świénty Ján Nepomucen – Saint John Nepomucen
kerego na Ślónsku wołajóm Nepomucek – who is called Nepomucek in Silesia.
Nepomucki stawiali kole mostów, Ślónzoki wierzyli iże Świénty chroni ich ôde utopców, i rzékali wielce do niégo.
nepomucki – figures of St. John
stawiali kole mostów – they placed by bridges
Ślónzoki wierzyli – Silesians believed
iże Świénty chroni ich – that the saint saves them
ôde utopców – from utopce
i rzékali wielce do niégo – and they prayed much to him
Mója starka gádáła mi, iże jej ôciec gádáł ze utopcámi i ô jich spráwach, ale to bóło kedy já żech bół małém karlusém, to nié wiém, iże ôsprawiáła ôna ô práwdziwéch spráwach, nebo ino mówiéła bery.
mója starka gádáła mi – my grandmother told me
iże jej ôciec gádáł ze utopcámi – that her father talked with the utopce
i ô jich spráwach – and generally about them
ale to bóło kedy já żech bół małém karlusém – but that was when I was a small boy
to nié wiém iże ôsprawiáła ôna – so I don't know if she talked about
ô práwdziwéch spráwach – about true things
nebo ino mówiéła bery – or told fables
Jako żech juże gádáł, utopce miészkajóm we wodzie.
jako żech juże gádáł – as I already said
utopce miészkajóm we wodzie – utopce live in water
Sóm te ône utopce na trocha wiéńcéj jak meter wielgie, majóm huty i lubióm tabak
sóm – they are
te – these
ône – they
na – on
trocha – a bit
wiéńcéj – more
jak – as
meter – metre
wielgie – big
majóm – they have
huty – hats
lubióm – they like
tabak – tobacco
Najczénściéj sóm ône rozumne a godne.
najczénściéj – most often
sóm – they are
ône – they
rozumne – intelligent
a – and
godne – proud
Czowieki kere je ôbrażajóm topióm sie we wodzie.
czowieki – people
kere – who
je – them
ôbrażajóm – they offend
topióm sie – they drown
we wodzie – in water
Wyłażóm ône utopce ze wody po ćmáku.
wyłażóm – they go out
ône – they
ze wody – from water
po ćmáku – when it's dark
Bezto czowieki kere łażóm po ćmie wele stawów sóm wielce ôdważne, abo gupie.
bezto – because of that
czowieki – people
kere – who
łażóm – walk
po ćmie – at dark
wele – near
stawów – ponds
sóm – they are
wielce – very
ôdważne – brave
abo – or
gupie – stupid
Ôciec ôd mojéj starki musiáł łazić kole stawu, kaj siédziáły utopce, we noc.
ôciec – father
ôd mojéj starki – my grandmother's
musiáł – he had to
łazić – walk
kole – near, by
stawu – a pond
kaj – where
siédziáły – they sat, dwelled
we noc – at night
Ôn robiáł na grubie
ôn – he
robiáł – he worked
na grubie – in a mine
Trza pedzieć, iże ôn lubiáł kurzyć.
trza pedzieć – one need to say
iże – that
ôn – he
lubiáł – he liked
kurzyć – to smoke
Jednéj nocy, zeźrzáł ôn utopca na swojéj drodze.
jednéj nocy – at one night
zeźrzáł ôn – he saw, noticed
na swojéj drodze – on his way
Zlónk sie, tén ôjciec ôd mojéj starki, ale pedziáł “pieronie!”, i polaz do ônego utopca.
zlónk sie – he was terrified
tén ôjciec ôd mojéj starki – that father of my grandmother
ale pedziáł – but he said
“pieronie!” – common swear in Silesia, it means “thunder!”
i polaz do ônego utopca – and he walked towards that utopiec
Tén sie pytá: “Mász tabak?”.
Tén sie pytá – that one (the utopiec) asks
Mász tabak? – do you have some tobacco?
Mój prastarzik nic nié gádáł, mimo iże miáł ino resztka tabaka, ino dáł tén tabak utopcówi.
mój prastarzik nic nié gádáł – my great grandfather said nothing
mimo iże miáł ino resztka tabaka – even that he has only little of the tobacco
ino dáł tén tabak utopcówi – but he gave the tobacco to the utopiec
Utopiec wżón tén tabak i poszół ze drógi we las.
utopiec wżón tén tabak – utopiec took the tobacco
i poszół ze drógi we las – and he went from the road to the forest
Rano prastarzik znod ôn we swéj chałpie nowa, piénkna faja, a pedziół to wszisko swoiém bajtlóm.
rano – in the morning
prastarzik – great grandfather
znod ôn – he found
we swéj chałpie – in his house
nowa, piénkna faja – a new, beautiful pipe
a pedziół to wszisko swojém bajtlóm – and told everything to his children
That would be all about the short story. Hope you like it
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